Americans say that the $14.3 trillion U.S. debt threatens the economy and that entitlement programs may go broke even as they dismiss as “scare tactics” the arguments offered by Republicans and Democrats who are debating a solution.

More than 60 percent of those surveyed (in a Bloomberg National Poll) say that interest on the debt may lead to a recession and that the rising costs of Medicare and Social Security represent real dangers, according to the poll conducted June 17-20.

At the same time, the poll found that most Americans aren’t swayed by the arguments Republicans and Democrats make to advance their competing remedies for debt reduction and strengthening the financial stability of entitlement programs, viewing them as empty rhetoric. Among the rejected assertions are that either spending cuts or tax increases would cause a double-dip recession or would lead to continued joblessness.

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